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Action / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Burt Lancaster Photo
Burt Lancaster as Cross
Alain Delon Photo
Alain Delon as Jean 'Scorpio' Laurier
Paul Scofield Photo
Paul Scofield as Zharkov
Gayle Hunnicutt Photo
Gayle Hunnicutt as Susan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.03 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.91 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zardoz-138 / 10

A Tale of Treachery Involving the CIA

Director Michael Winner cast brawny Burt Lancaster as a veteran CIA agent on the lam in "Scorpio" and handsome French contract assassin Alain Delon cannot decide when he will kill him in this sinister international thriller. Despite some dreary, loquacious interludes, this espionage epic contains some energetic action scenes with Lancaster at his acrobatic best. Cross (Burt Lancaster of "Valdez Is Coming") recruits a former French Foreign Legion soldier, Jean Laurier (Alain Delon of "Purple Noon"),to assassinate a diplomat at Orly Airport in Paris while a young radical Arab terrorist distracts the authorities. As it turns out, Laurier had been paid by the CIA to ice Cross while the two men were in Paris. They fly back to Washington, D.C., where they part company on good terms. Cross goes home with his wife, Sarah (Joanne Linville of "Gable and Lombard"),but isn't surprised that the CIA are maintaining surveillance on his residence. Instead of walking back into CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Cross skips town, disguised as a priest and flies to Europe. Meantime, Laurier is arrested on a trumped-up heroin charge and rudely pistol whipped by a pugnacious D.C. Detective during his arrest. Just to make matters worse, the cops barged into Laurier's bedroom while he was snuggled up next to his beautiful girlfriend, English Literature instructor Susan (Gayle Hunnicutt of "The Wild Angels") who has been scheming to marry him. CIA official McLeod (John Colicos of "Raid on Rommel") offers Laurier a choice to walk away from a possible 30-year sentence if he cooperates and helps the Agency locate and then eliminate Cross. Ironically, despite the cutthroat tactics of both the CIA and Cross, Laurier appear reluctant to terminate his mentor with extreme prejudice because the man has provided him with so much information to protect himself from people like McLeod and his second-in-command Filchock (J.D. Cannon of "Cool Hand Luke") who desperately want Cross's head on a platter. Cross seeks unofficial asylum from a Soviet, Zharkov (Paul Scofield of "The Train"),who is an old friend. Meantime, McLeod fears that Cross has been selling out to the Soviets. Tensions come to a boil when McLeod's clumsy CIA gunmen kill Sarah, and Cross comes back to America with vengeance in his heart. Cross hires an acrobat to step in front of McLeod's car and the fearless fellow hurls himself on the hood brings the car to a sudden stop. While everybody is focused on helping the poor, unfortunate man who steps into the oncoming path of the vehicle, Cross steals on phantom up to the other side of the car without attracting attention and shoots McLeod dead in the back of his limo.

Although he was getting pretty long in the tooth at the time, Burt Lancaster doesn't let us forget that he was once a nimble circus acrobat. He has some rigorous moments in "Scorpio" where it is abundantly clear that the Oscar-winning actor shunned the services of a stunt double. One instance involves him leaping from a high place to plunge across a huge drum in the bottom of a subway station under construction in Vienna. He bounces off the gigantic drum and tumbles to the floor next to in without injury. It is a cool stunt, and it is done all in one shot so you know that it was Burt the entire time. The international locations add zest to this tale of friendship and betrayal. Winner directs with his customary brusque style, and the mentoring melodrama that occurs here is reminiscent of Winner's earlier film "The Mechanic." Lenser Robert Paynter composes some of the tightest compositions that you will ever see. This is one of those spy thrillers where virtually everybody dies. Altogether, if you enjoy watching Lancaster, "Scorpio" won't sting you.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David7 / 10

A melodramatic and threatening spy film!

Retirement is not always possible for a spy, particularly an agent caught in the no-man's-land between the two superpowers... Cross (Burt Lancaster) is such a spy in Michael Winner's 'Scorpio.'

Released at a time when disclosures about CIA and FBI abuses were receiving wider acceptance, 'Scorpio' might have become a controversial success, but was forestalled by Costa-Gavras' more factual 'State of Siege.'

A melodramatic and threatening spy film, 'Scorpio' had two rival protagonists: Cross, an experienced CIA agent being hunted by his former colleagues, and a former French paratroop officer, Jean Laurier (Alain Delon),now a 'CIA contract button man,' a professional assassin, code-name Scorpio...

Irritated by the Frenchman's independence, the CIA chief McLeod (John Colicos) has had heroin planted in his bedroom to make the hired killer more pliable... Threatened with a drug arrest, Scorpio has no choice but to accept the assignment to kill Cross, although McLeod sugars the pill with promises of a fat bonus and Cross' job as the CIA's man in the Middle East...

Although told that Cross has been a double-agent working for the "opposition," Scorpio remains doubtful... In the meantime, by a series of clever tricks and tactics, Cross has not only managed to evade the CIA men following him, but has arrived in the favorite city for cinematic intrigue, Vienna, Austria...

The most part of the film's action and some of its best sequences take place in the country on the Danube River where the mystery surrounding Cross deepens... In a nighttime rendezvous on a deserted street, Cross is met by a Viennese worker who is whistling, perhaps as a signal or out of habit, the "lnternationale."

The husky-voiced Cross says, "It's been a long time since Spain," to which the man responds, "The best died there," and gives Cross directions to meet two more "cut-outs." This kind of political reference occurred frequently in the film's dialog as part of the sympathetic characterization of Cross as envisioned by an intelligent and well written script...

In a sequence that was easily the equal of some of the best spy films, Cross and his Soviet counterpart, Sergei Zharkov (Paul Scofield),laughingly discuss their mutual reject for their bosses and the identical young men who support both the CIA and KGB... While Cross accepts Zharkov's evaluation of themselves as a pair of premature anti-fascists, he can not understand Zharkov's professed belief in Communism after years spent in a Stalinist labor camp and the recent invasion of Czechoslovakia... In a later scene when Zharkov tries to get help from his superiors and is refused, the embassy official is given a dose of Zharkov's irony when told of his resemblance to another man 'who didn't leave his name, but was trying to build socialism in one country out of the bones from a Charnel house' –as strong an indictment of Stalin's Russia as any Cold War film, but more intelligent and more skillfully presented...

The film's major element was the state of tension in which the audience was held, until the final minutes viewers could be certain of Cross true identity, and CIA director, the eccentric hated human being represented by McLeod...

The CIA chief appeared more ruthless than any other character... He was willing to frame Scorpio on a false charge, to endanger his own agents needlessly and even to have Cross' wife murdered in an unsuccessfully burglary attempt...

There was even a hint of Nazi persecution, since one of Cross' wartime friends, Max (Shmul Rodensky),was killed during an interrogation conducted by a local Viennese thug who had laughed cleverly at the mention of Max's imprisonment in a concentration camp...

The problem of Cross's guilt or innocence concentrated on Scorpio, who knew enough to distrust McLeod yet is pushed to fulfill his assignment... In a nighttime scene shot in a huge enclosed botanical garden, Scorpio meets Cross and their dialog is a clever mixture of plot development and characterization... To the Frenchman's direct question whether he is a traitor or not, Cross tells Scorpio that he reminds him of a little girl in her white Communion dress looking for God, but that since Scorpio has the soul of a torturer his need is even greater... Cross denies being a double-agent and tells Scorpio that McLeod wanted him eliminated as well...

Scorpio's conversations gave the film its uniquely complex political coloration... Lancaster gave his character the air of a worldly wise cynic whose ties to the Russians were as mercenary as they were emotional..

With considerable assets in three separate bank accounts, Cross' dismissal of Zharkov's Communist blind faith had a firm basis... Yet, Cross had all the 1930's liberal hypotheses: The whistled "Internationale," the reference to Spain, the twenty-year friendship with Zharkov, his obvious affection for Max and Cross' contacts among Washington, D.C. area Blacks were all hints of his real political sympathies... His warnings to Scorpio were justified, and Cross's treason seemed minor compared to the CIA's criminal behavior... The traditional reference points (affection for his wife and friends) all proclaimed Cross' innocence, and in fact, the CIA stood more condemned in the film...

If it hadn't been for its irregular pacing, the juxtaposition of slow, talky scenes with far too gymnastic thriller consequences, 'Scorpio' might have been a domestic 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.' The spy film that did eventually serve this role appeared in 1975, in Sydney Pollack's 'Three Days of the Condor.'

Reviewed by MartinHafer5 / 10

Paranoia film that's pretty typical of the early 70s

In the 1960s, disenchantment among the Western populations led to the hippie movement and a new questioning of authority. Combining this with the Watergate scandal and you set the context for movies like SCORPIO and THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR. Both films view our own government with great suspicion--particularly the CIA. Such films probably would NOT have been accepted by the public just a decade earlier, but in the 70s paranoia of this type was fashionable. So was the moral relativism that implied that the US and Soviet governments were pretty much the same.

In some ways, the plot to SCORPIO is pretty interesting--a CIA agent (Burt Lancaster) is perceived to be a double agent and is ordered to be killed. Oddly, Alain Delon, a Frenchman, is given this task but Lancaster seems too slippery and skilled to be easily taken. Unfortunately, after a while the film both becomes rather dull and is rather hard to believe. As one reviewer pointed out, the way that Lancaster and Scofield knew each other didn't really make sense, as an American serving with the Spanish Republicans would have been seen as an extreme leftist--not exactly a person you'd expect to later be in the CIA. Of course, this DID help the moral relativism being pushed in the film.

Aside from watching the acrobatic Lancaster do his own stunts and Scofield overact (in a fun way),this is a very low energy film--and you'd not expect this would be the case for an espionage thriller. It just seemed very detached and uninvolving. Overall, it's a passable film, but not one you should go out of your way to see.

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